Parental careers advice to children often “out of date”

Parents play a key role in their children's career decisions, but their views are often out of date and badly informed, suggests a new report published by the Association of Colleges (AoC).

The report highlighted that approximately 70 per cent of children trust their parents with advice on jobs, yet it warned that “uninformed family members can hinder a child's ambitions” because parents can sometimes "push" their children "towards careers that are seen to be safe or traditional, but possibly not best suited to the individual or taking into account emerging industries."

The authors drew on an AoC survey earlier this year of just over 2,000 secondary pupils in England, which found only 49 per cent felt they were well informed about what jobs are available. They also carried out in-depth interviews with parents, children and careers specialists at colleges around the UK.

They recommended that careers advisers should liaise with local employers and update parents and pupils about local jobs markets and emerging industries, after the young people interviewed said they wanted "drastic changes" to careers advice, including better links with employers, the chance to "have a go" at real jobs, longer-term work experience and relevant local information.

Further information can be found here.